Small businesses (SMEs) are crucial to the emergence new developing economies. The SMEs are equally important to the reinvigoration of the developed economies. These businesses come up with innovations and creative and novel approaches to doing business. This is important for both the developed and developing economies in the world (Simpson, Taylor & Padmore, 2011). SMEs make entries into markets that already have reputable and established multinationals and other credible businesses. The stiff competition in the market means that the importance of marketing becomes extremely important.
The marketing concept has increasingly become central to the business strategic and policy thinking. Marketing makes the difference between a successful brand and a failed one. The marketing mix of a business ensures that the consumer market or the target market is aware of the presence of a product or service in the market. The marketing approach also ensure that the customers re aware of the cost or the pricing policy, quality and the promotions that the company offers to the customers.
Small businesses operate at a disadvantage against the established multinationals in the world. These huge companies have massive market share, reputations and a brand equity that is established. The SMEs on the other hand operate with a small target market and small market share. This reduces gap means that competition in the market will be stiff to the SMEs. However, SMEs are coming up with innovative and creative approaches to marketing. This is the chance for SMEs to reach the market, convince the consumer market that the products they are offering are differentiated form what exists in the market, and thus give the customers a reason to choose their brands.
Statement of the Problem
Small businesses depend on innovation and creativity as well as aggressive, targeted and precise marketing to implement their business plans in the market and establish a competitive business when faced with the effects of globalization, which include the intensifying of the competition in the market. The role of marketing in the SME sector can be measured by the success of businesses that have marketing plans. The success in this case can be established through the number of customers or the market share, the reputation of the brand, the sales of the services or goods the company offers and its competitive edge over other companies in the same market segment. However, there is a need to study the importance of marketing. This will target how marketing shapes the business model, strategy and policy. This is the target of this dissertation.
The marketing concept is largely influenced by the relationship between the buyer and the seller in the market. The target of the marketing strategies is the market or the consumer. As a result, marketing strategies are best driven by the needs and preferences of the consumers (Bettiol, Di Maria & Finotto, 2012). There are three concepts that recur in several marketing initiatives; these include customer focus, profitability and coordinated approach. Customer focus means that the marketing plans or strategy needs to focus on the needs, the preferences, tastes or fears of the customer (Gilmore, Gallagher & Henry, 2007). The marketing strategy needs to sell the goods and services to the customer as if they are things that they want. As a result, marketing is derived from a market study (Taylor, Simpson & Robertson, 2005). The market study reveals the needs and preferences of the customers and these are taken into consideration in the production process and the target of the marketing strategies. The marketing strategy needs to be coordinated (Gilmore, Kraus, O’Dwyer, & Miles, 2012). The effectiveness of the marketing strategy depends on, how precise and incisive the targeted audience is, and the type of message the marketer is delivering to the customer. The profitability of the SMEs is highly dependent on the effectiveness and success of the marketing plan.
A systematic survey was used to collect data for the dissertation. The snowball sampling method was applied to pick the sample for the study. Then the questionnaire method was applied to collect both the secondary and primary data. The study also applied the interview and observation approaches to collect data. Secondary data was also used sourced from books, journals, periodicals, government publications, news, and magazines (Harrigan, Ramsey & Ibbotson, 2012).
Results and Analysis
Marketing is crucial to the SME industry.it elevates the small businesses to competitive levels in a competitive environment. Marketing is an embodiment of the creativity and innovation that SMEs have to use to ensure they are competitive in the market (O’Dwyer, Gilmore & Carson, 2009). Marketing strategies are aimed at improving the customer-business relationship and improve the business/ status in the external environment.
Marketing is the connection between the customer and the business. This is a crucial connection and the businesses that fail to make this connection do not experience success. The marketing mix handles the entire supply chain of the business (Pentina, Koh & Le, 2012). It is the culmination of the production, packaging and branding of the product. The process is often customer-oriented. This is aimed to ensure that customer satisfaction levels are high and that the products and/or services are well received in the market.
Bettiol, M., Di Maria, E., & Finotto, V. (2012). Marketing in SMEs: the role of entrepreneurial sensemaking. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(2), 223-248.
Gilmore, A., Gallagher, D., & Henry, S. (2007). E-marketing and SMEs: operational lessons for the future. European Business Review, 19(3), 234-247.
Gilmore, A., Kraus, S., O’Dwyer, M., & Miles, M. (2012). Editorial: Strategic marketing management in small and medium-sized enterprises. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(2), 141-143.
Harrigan, P., Ramsey, E., & Ibbotson, P. (2012). Entrepreneurial marketing in SMEs: the key capabilities of e-CRM. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 14(1), 40-64.
O’Dwyer, M., Gilmore, A., & Carson, D. (2009). Innovative marketing in SMEs.European Journal of Marketing, 43(1/2), 46-61.
Pentina, I., Koh, A. C., & Le, T. T. (2012). Adoption of social networks marketing by SMEs: exploring the role of social influences and experience in technology acceptance. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 7(1), 65-82.
Simpson, M., Taylor, N., & Padmore, J. (2011). The role and relevance model of marketing in SMEs. Entrepreneurship Marketing: Principles and Practice of SME Marketing. Abingdon: Routledge, 30-44.
Taylor, N., Simpson, M., & Robertson, M. (2005). MARKETING IN SMEs.
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